YORKTOWN, Ind.- Think back to fall in elementary school, when the hot spot for field trips was your local farm.
Remember the joys of petting animals, digging through pockets to come up with a quarter for the feed machine, the bouncy ups and downs of a hayride on a brisk day and the exciting hunt for the very best pumpkin to take home and carve.
At Westwind Farm and Fiber, students can reignite those fond fall memories.
Owner Kylee Eller lives on the eight-acre farm property with her husband, Andrew, and their four children. The Ellers believe it is important for their kids to be raised around agriculture, like they were in their youth.
In 2019, “Fall Fun at Westwind Farm” opened. For only an $8 ticket, the farm is available to visitors for unstructured perusing and activities. Anyone can come from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturdays or 1 p.m.– 4 p.m. on Sundays to participate.
Customers have the freedom to visit the petting zoo, play on the bounce house or playground, tour the mock-pioneer village and the historic peg-style barn and go on a hayride. The ticket also entitles visitors to leave with their own pumpkin, a fitting souvenir from the autumn day.
Though Westwind Farm and Fiber certainly offers hands-on interactions, there are more laid-back ventures that visitors can enjoy. There are sitting areas under the oak trees, numerous photo spots and animal engagement opportunities like taking a goat or sheep on a walk and purchasing a feeding cup to give the animals at the petting zoo.
“There are no time limits, either,” Eller said. “You can come in at any time between 10 and 4, and leave any time between 10 and 4. You can stay the whole time we’re open, if you want.”
The Westwind experience would not be complete without its fall-flavored treats. Available for purchase are baked goods such as apple cider donuts and, a favorite of Eller’s, pumpkin chocolate chip cake.
Westwind Farm and Fiber hosts a variety of visitors, ranging from kindergarten classes to entire families to college-aged couples. A brief twenty-six-minute-drive from Taylor, it’s a convenient location for the next October pick-a-date, weekend wing hangout or the perfect excuse to go spend some time alone with animals (looking at you, fellow introverts).
Besides its normal schedule of fun fall activities, Westwind Farm partners with private businesses to offer specialized events such as 45-minute goat and bunny yoga for $15. The next animal yoga event is scheduled for Oct. 16 at 9 a.m., but keep an eye out for the November special events calendar. Eller said that a luminary walk, which usually consists of lantern-lined trails, is being planned for next month.
Another unique feature of Westwind Farm and Fiber is their fiber mill. The main fibers that Westwind produces come from sheared Shetland sheep and Angora rabbits and are used for soft yarn and somewhat rare textiles.
However, the farm was not always intended for the purposes of fiber. The land itself, which the Eller family purchased in 2013, had been used as a dairy farm since 1900. The still-standing milkhouse is also tourable, and will soon be available to be rented out as a rustic Airbnb.
Westwind also supports the population growth of near-endangered animals such as their Shetland sheep. The farm houses a variety of other sheep, as well as goats, horses, alpacas, ducks, turkeys, chickens and rabbits, which the Eller children consider their own pets.